New West's Anvil Centre set to serve food fit for the stars

A catering company that’s fed folks like Sting and Sarah McLachlan will soon be dishing out its delicacies at Anvil Centre.

The City of New Westminster has signed a deal that will see Truffles Fine Foods Catering providing catering services at its new civic facility and operating a coffee shop in Anvil Centre. Nin Rai, who founded the catering company in 2005, also started L’Abattoir, a restaurant in Gastown.

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On the catering front, Truffles Fine Foods caters all kinds of gatherings from galas to weddings and runs Truffles Café at VanDusen. It was the official caterer of the Whistler Canada House during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“Mr. Rai is proposing to model the cafe at the Anvil Centre after his very successful business at VanDusen gardens,” said a report to council. “He will be naming the café Truffles at the Anvil.”

The café, which will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be modelled after Truffles at VanDusen. Council has approved a lease in principle for the café.

Lisa Spitale, the city’s chief administrative officer, said the café’s breakfast, lunch and baked goods will work well with the services provided in Anvil Centre and the office tower.

Coun. Lorrie Williams is looking forward to the café’s arrival in downtown New Westminster. In addition to a café, a restaurant will also be located in the new civic facility.

“That is going to be wonderful,” she told The Record. “That is going to be absolutely fabulous.”

Williams sampled Truffles’ cuisine at its VanDusen Botanical Gardens location. Having reviewed Truffles’ proposed appetizer menu for New Westminster, she’s already picked out a few items she’s planning to try – including a baked brie.

“The prices are what I would call mid, ­ they are not the kind that take your breath away, but they’re not your Tim Hortons,” she said. “If a dining experience is worth it, it’s worth paying a bit more for.”

According to Truffles Fine Food’s website, the company has catered to hundreds of Hollywood celebrities, as well as folks attending events such as Live at Squamish, weddings and other events.

“Over the course of the past several years, Nin and his team have provided myself and the productions exceptional service and incredible food,” stated a testimonial from Drew Locke, production manager for Night at the Museum 3. “Truffles has been a beacon in our industry in regards to food services. Nothing has more pressure for a caterer than provide over 50 to 60 days of meals that are high in quality and please ‘A’ list actors and stars and crew. The company’s goal is always a ‘yes’ when it comes to answering catering concerns.”

Mayor Wayne Wright is excited about the food offerings that will soon be available in Anvil Centre.

“What we are going to do in downtown New Westminster is be equal with any other part of the city in the Lower Mainland, where everyone has a major restaurant,” he said. “We had some pretty high end ones when we had the King Neptune. We’ve had restaurants on Sixth that have had their day. They were fairly high level. We will be doing that."

Blair Fryer, the city’s manager of communications and economic development, said the café will be opening in the fall.

“We anticipate the café opening this fall by November, with exact timing dependent on the tenant completing the fit-out of the space,” he said in an email to The Record.

Fryer said the city is still involved in the process of selecting the operator of the restaurant space so it doesn’t have a timeline for the restaurant opening at this time.

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